As of late, I’ve been covering watches that – while quite excellent – skew towards the higher end of the range of watches we’d consider affordable. And, since affordable watches is what we’re all about, let’s take a step back and have a look at one of those. ESQ is a brand you’re likely to find in your local department store. Today’s watch, the ESQ Blue, definitely has the summertime vibes.
Now, as we’ve seen with other brands, ESQ didn’t actually give this watch a name. It’s just referred to as the ESQ0091. In my mind, I just called it the ESQ Blue since its’s, well, very blue. This hits you with the blue leather strap, the dark matte blue bezel, and the blue accents on the dial courtesy of the day and date displays. All that blue could be heavy, but here it’s set into a dial that is mostly bright white and silver, which of course picks up the white details in the strap (center stripe and contrast stitching). This all adds up to a very summer feel for the watch.
That is further cemented by the details on the outer portion of the dial of the ESQ Blue. On the outer ring, where the indices are applied, there’s a woven pattern imprinted. This has the feel of a coarse textile or, to my eyes, what you’d see woven in the ropes found on a boat. The boating impression is further reinforced by the cutouts on the silver disc that contains the date display. This brings some additional color, but with the angled cuts going around the circle, it puts me in mind of the cutouts in a crank that would be winding up the aforementioned rope. That’s a lot of nautical references I’m seeing here, so, yeah, summer. Just be careful if you do boat with the watch, as it’s only rated for 50m of WR.
When you have watches like the ESQ Blue that are affordable and found in your local department store, you can surely expect that there will be a quartz movement inside. Here, it’s simply labeled as a Japanese VX43 movement, which most likely is coming from Epson. In practical terms, that means not much to most buyers, and likely indicates a watch that – like any quartz driven piece – will run calmly and accurately for a good number of years (at least 2, depending on the battery) and a simple battery change will bring it back to life.
I think for most potential buyers of the ESQ Blue, the strap will be a key selling point for the watch. It cements the overall look of the piece, and brings most of the blue color to the table. The 22mm strap has a slight taper down to the signed buckle, and is of an ok leather construction. It’s not the nicest I’ve ever seen or handled (no rich leather scent here), nor is it one of the plasticky (both in feel and smell) ones that so often plague more affordable watches.
At the end of the day, the $125 ESQ Blue is competent watch, and offers some original design ideas that will likely appeal to the nautically-minded person who’s looking for a knock-about watch for daily use. The WR rating may give some pause, but so long as you don’t try to swim with it, you should be good. shopesq.com
- Brand & Model: ESQ Blue (ESQ0091)
- Price: $125
- Who’s it for? You want a watch you don’t need to think about day to day, and you’ve got a thing for boats
- Would I wear it? It’s visually interesting, but no, this is not one I’d look to own myself
- What I’d change: The WR rating needs to be increased
- The best thing about it: The details in the dial
Tech Specs from ESQ
- Movement: Japanese VX43, quartz
- Water resistance: 165 feet (aka 50m)
- Case diameter: 44mm
- Case material: stainless steel
- Lug width: 22mm
- Bezel: Blue IP